Mother India's Café
- Telephone 0131 524 9801
- Food served Mon–Wed noon–2pm, 5–10.30pm; Thu noon–10.30pm; Fri/Sat noon–11pm; Sun noon–10pm.
- Average price £15 (lunch); £15 (evening meal)
- Website www.motherindiascafeedinburgh.co.uk
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This review is taken from the current (2013) edition.
Something of a Glasgow stalwart, the Edinburgh branch of Mother India’s Cafe opened in 2008 and has replicated the popularity of its western sibling. Serving up Indian food in tapas-sized portions ensures the restaurant maintains a buzzing social feel and allows diners to sample a wider range of dishes, even without a large group. Basmati rice and various fluffy naan breads can be used to mop up or cool down the many fresh curries on offer. Waiting staff recommend three or four dishes between two people, giving diners a good run at the extensive, modern and creative menu. Favourites such as onion bhajis and pakoras are produced with as much attention to detail as their more experimental daily specials (the most popular of which have a chance of promotion to the a la carte leagues). It is commonplace to mix old favourites (the chicken tikka is richly spiced, served with salad and coriander chutney) with more adventurous choices. Unfortunately, the tapas concept means table sizes – particularly for parties of two – are pushed to their full capacity.
As one of central Edinburgh's better Indian restaurants, a takeaway from Mother India is an attractive option if you're in this part of town. They ask for 45 minutes lead time for orders being collected, though the full takeaway menu is on the website. Some dishes are larger than their tapas counterparts in the restaurant, so it’s worth checking on portion size before covering your kitchen table in foil containers. That aside, it’s hard to go wrong here. Butter chicken is homely, low-key and comforting; like many options, it delivers solid flavour rather than fire. A deep green king prawn saag packs more punch along with a healthy dose of meaty prawns. It’s worth getting the foil-baked spiced haddock home early, as reheating won’t help, but you’d have to be very committed to newspaper and batter to find a better piece of takeaway fish.
- High point: Inventive specials
- Low point: Tables too small for the tapas-style concept
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 3
- Private dining: Up to 45 covers
- Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access
- Music on stereo: Hindi tunes
- Capacity: 120
- Largest group: 70
- Open since: 2008
- House wine: £12.50 per bottle
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